Sunday, May 7, 2017

Dreams: Delayed But Not Dead

Keep Following Your Dreams!
People used to ask me when I was slinging coffee for a living, "How are you?" every day (without really caring, it's just something they said to their barista on the way to their coffee order with barely a pause for me to answer before they went into their half-caff mocha with a pump of caramel and two Splendas but blend the Splenda with the chocolate before the espresso.) And every day I would reply, "I'm living the dream."

Dripping with sarcasm, of course. It was not, in fact, my dream when I received my degree from the University of Michigan to ever sling coffee. My dream was to write. But the thing about writing is that you need to sling coffee to pay for that dream because it's not often that dream pans out as lucrative enough to pay the bills that come with having a dream.

I'm forty. You probably already know that, as I doubt this is your first time reading the blog. I'm still not "living the dream" that I have always had. And maybe I never will. (And maybe that's why La La Land resonated so much with me that it left me sobbing at the end. No spoilers, I promise, and this has nothing to do with the love story because my love story is the best one there is, thank you.) But I still live with the very strong hope that anything can happen in the future if I put my all into it. That bestseller is lurking inside of me and it just needs to get from my brain onto the paper into the hands of someone who believes in it like I do so that it can someday get into your hands and the hands of all your friends and their friends.

This hope that I have, though, isn't without merit. When a started dating this extroverted introvert somewhere around a decade and a half ago, we told each other our dreams because that's what you do when you fall in love with someone. And we decided that our purpose was to help each other make their dreams come true. In a couple of days, one of those dreams will come to fruition.

I have watched my 46-year-old husband (who evolved from the 31-year-old man I met so long ago...) work a number of jobs since we first got together, all the while maintaining a strong force in local theatre and remaining a loyal, wonderful husband and father. He got married very young the first time around and started having kids right away, so his dreams of getting his college education were somewhat delayed. So delayed, in fact, that he will be receiving his Indiana University degree this Tuesday night -- as President of the Student Government/Student Body at Indiana University South Bend. Over the last four years, he has worked harder and more passionately than I've ever seen a college student work while, at the same time, having a baby with me, tutoring, peer mentoring, becoming Editor-in-Chief of the Undergraduate Research Journal, bringing the Student Economics Club back to life as its President for a year, and so many other duties I'm unable to list them all here at this late hour. He's received awards and scholarships the likes of which I never even imagined possible. And did I mention that he's 46?

Why is this important?

Because he's never given up. There have been so many struggles over the last four years and at any moment he could have stopped, delayed it further or just let go of the dream altogether. Frustrations with classes, tragic deaths in our family, and the insanity of a brand new baby being born at our geriatric ages could have led to a delayed dream becoming a dead dream. But this man did not, would not, allow that to happen because he believed in something so strongly, wanted something so badly, that he was not about to let it go.

I am so proud of him that I don't have the words to adequately express it. He is an inspiration to me to continue following my dreams regardless of the trials that will inevitably pop up along the way, regardless of the naysayers, regardless of the odds.

Stephen Michael, I love you and I cannot wait to see the rest of your dreams come true.

"So bring on the rebels, the ripples from pebbles, the painters and poets and plays...
and here's to the fools who dream, crazy as they may seem." --Audition, La La Land

Stephanie Jean


  1. I agree with your post dreams to get delayed but never remain unanswered that's what I have seen. The longer you wait the better you get.

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